Concord has long claimed an oversized role in the development of American political thought. This community actively preserves and treasures its historic legacy, consciously rooting its future in continuity with its past. In the middle of a wider conversation about race, justice, the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples, and the legacy of enslavement in the United States today, Concord seeks to continue reckoning with its own part in that history. As our country wrestles with a more complicated and still incomplete understanding of its history, communities like Concord are called to bring its skills of historic inquiry to more deeply examine its self-narratives and share this process of investigation.
In recent years, the Town of Concord has engaged in efforts to preserve and lift up the stories of the town’s historic Black residents such as Caesar Robbins, Ellen Garrison, Zilpha White and George Washington Dugan. An African-American history walking tour highlights important sites in the town’s Black and abolitionist histories, while special programming showcase specific individuals and events.
This temporary art installation will be part of the early commemorations in Concord 250, a celebration of the events that sparked the beginning of the armed struggle for American independence. Publicity and associated events for the artwork will be coordinated with other programming in the area during a time of heightened attention and activity.
The site has been selected a permanent memorial of the 250th anniversary, with construction tentatively scheduled to launch not long after the removal of this temporary artwork. The stated intention of the permanent memorial is “...for those who have come before but whose voices were not always heard, honored or remembered. With native daughter Ellen Garrison at its heart, the memorial will honor all those who came forward and stood for all people who struggled and said, ‘I too shall participate in the gift of human liberty, human equality and human dignity...no matter the cost.’”
An online folder of resources can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/Concord-ArtCall